Are you a student in India looking for a way to earn extra income? If the answer is yes, then you have come to the right place!
In this blog post, we will explore 11 amazing online business ideas for students in India that require minimal investment and have the potential to yield great rewards.
According to Statista.com, India has over 600 million internet users, making her the second largest online market in the world, behind China.
What does this mean?
Well, if there’s the right time to start an online business in India, this is it!
Whether you are looking for passive income streams or a way to use your free time, you’ll find something you’re passionate about in this list.
Ready to get started?
Let’s dive in!
What is an Online Business?
An online business is any business that is conducted online with the use of the internet.
This type of business can range from selling items and services on a website, offering freelance services, affiliate marketing, creating apps and courses, and more.
And as a student, there are a ton of opportunities for you to make money online in India.
Best Online Business Ideas for Students in India
Now that you know what an online business in India is, let’s talk about some of the best online business ideas for students. Here are some great options to consider:
1. Selling items online
This is a great way to make money online as a student in India while also getting rid of stuff you no longer need.
But before we look at the ‘how,’ check these out (Source: Statista):
- Active internet users as of February 2022. 658m.
- Active e-commerce penetration. 76.7%
- Online retail market size by 2022. 73bn USD.
It tells you one thing; the internet is your oyster!
So, how do you start?
The first step is to decide on what kind of items you want to sell.
You can either choose to sell new items that you source from manufacturers or wholesalers, or you can opt to sell second-hand items.
In fact, you can even decide to focus on selling a specific type of item, or you can create a multi-category store.
Next, you must pick a platform for your online store.
Lucky for you, there are many popular online marketplaces in India, such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, eBay, and Paytm Mall.
There’s also an option to create your web store using popular e-commerce platforms such as OLITT, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and BigCommerce.
Once you have the store up, consider the following:
- Get a payment gateway into your store so customers can pay for their purchases. Popular payment gateways in India include PayU, Razorpay, and Paytm. But if you are using a marketplace like Flipkart, you won’t have to worry about it
- Create a business plan. This will help you create a roadmap for the growth and success of your business. Include a budget, marketing plan, and timeline for launching your store.
- Start marketing your store in India. You can use social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to promote your store. You can also run paid ads on Google and other search engines.
Related: WooCommerce In India: How To Create An Online Store
2. Sell freelancing services online in India
If you’re a student looking for extra pocket money online in India, you might consider freelancing.
Whether you have a particular skill set in web design, content writing, graphic design, or something else altogether – there are plenty of opportunities out there for you to make money.
Freelancing can be a great way to get started in the workplace, as you’ll gain valuable experience while building up your portfolio.
Not only that, but it might even help you find a job in the future.
So, what are some of the benefits of freelancing in India?
For starters, you get to be your own boss. Depending on your availability and skills, you can work when and where you want.
You can also choose which projects you work on, and you’ll have the flexibility to work with different clients, so you can learn new skills and gain experience.
You’ll also have the opportunity to set your own rates to ensure you’re paid what you’re worth.
Plus, you can build up a network of clients and contacts that you can use for future projects.
Finally, freelancing will give you a sense of pride and accomplishment – and you’ll be able to work on projects that you find interesting.
This guide will cover some freelance skills you can sell online in India. So continue reading.
3. Start an affiliate marketing business in India
One of the best online business ideas for students in India. And you start with or without capital.
Affiliate marketing is a way for a person to earn a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products.
The affiliate simply searches for a product they enjoy, promotes that product to others, and earns a piece of the profit from each sale they make.
As a student, you can start affiliate marketing in India by finding products that you are interested in and that you think would be valuable to your audience.
Many affiliate marketing programs are available, and you can join them for free.
Once you have joined an affiliate program, you will be given a unique affiliate link that you can share with your audience.
And when someone clicks on that link and makes a purchase, you will earn a commission.
In 2020, there were approximately 150 million online shoppers in India alone!
Going by these numbers, you are bound to earn money working as an affiliate marketer in India.
To start immediately without money, you can use social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to promote the products.
You can also use your blog or website, if you have one, to promote the products.
Remember that becoming successful in affiliate marketing in India takes time and effort. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme, and you won’t see immediate results.
However, if you are patient and willing to work, affiliate marketing can be a great way to earn extra income as a student.
4. Start a website development business in India
If you have a knack for coding, you could offer website development services to clients.
For the sake of the green ones, website development is creating and maintaining a website.
It involves a range of tasks, including designing the layout and structure of the website, writing and editing content, and ensuring that the website functions properly and is easy to use.
You can learn website development by taking online courses or tutorials in India.
In fact, there are many free resources available that can teach you the basics of HTML, CSS, and other programming languages that are commonly used in web development.
Like this course on Coursera.org?.
You can enroll for free.
And you can see over 800K students have already enrolled!
You can also find free templates and frameworks that you can use to build your websites.
To start web development without money in India, you can use a free website building platform like OLITT, Wix, or Weebly to create a simple website.
These platforms provide pre-designed templates and drag-and-drop tools that make it easy to create a website, even if you have no coding experience.
You can also use free hosting services like GitHub Pages or Netlify to host your website for free.
Remember that becoming a proficient web developer in India takes time and practice.
It’s not something you can learn overnight, and you’ll need to be willing to put in the time and effort to improve your skills.
However, if you are dedicated and motivated, you can become a successful web developer as a student.
5. Social media marketing
With the ease of internet access, the number of active social media users in India stood at 330 million in 2019, and it is expected to reach 448 million by 2023.
This makes social media one of India’s greatest ways to grow online businesses.
As a social media marketer, you will be helping brands use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to promote a product or service.
Your main job will be creating and sharing content designed to attract and engage an audience and ultimately drive profitable customer action.
Now, the best way to get into such a business is to start a social media marketing agency in India.
Don’t worry, it is not as hard as it sounds.
But there’s a problem.
Starting an SMM agency without money can be challenging, as it typically requires some financial investment.
However, here are a few steps you can take to try to get your agency off the ground without spending any money:
- Build your own social media presence: Use your social media accounts to showcase your skills and expertise in social media marketing. Share your content and content from other sources that you think would be valuable to your audience. This will help you to establish yourself as an authority in the field and attract potential clients.
- Offer your services for free: To gain experience and build a portfolio, consider offering your services for free or at a discounted rate to a small business or non-profit organization. This will allow you to gain real-world experience and build a portfolio of work that you can use to showcase your skills to potential clients.
- Network and build relationships: Attend local events and meetups, and connect with other professionals in the industry. Building relationships with potential clients and partners can help you to generate leads and grow your business.
- Utilize free resources: Many free resources are available to help you get started with social media marketing, including free social media scheduling tools and free design software. Utilizing these resources can help you save money while getting your business off the ground.
Always remember this:
Social media marketing requires a consistent and strategic approach.
It’s not enough to just post a few times and hope for the best. You’ll need to create a plan, set goals, and be consistent in your efforts to see results.
That applies to you and your clients.
If you enjoy writing, you could start a blog and monetize it with ads and affiliate links.
In fact, there are over 600 million blogs on the internet right now, and most earn enough income from it to support their lifestyles.
Starting a blog with low capital in India is possible and can be a great way to share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences with a wider audience.
Here are a few steps you can take to get started:
- Choose a blogging platform: Many platforms are available for creating a blog, including WordPress, Blogger, and Medium. Some platforms are free, while others charge a fee. Choose a platform that meets your needs and budget. We’d recommend WordPress because it is user-friendly.
- Choose a domain name: Your domain name is the address of your blog (e.g., www.example.com). You can purchase a domain name from us here or use a free subdomain provided by the blogging platform you choose.
- Set up your blog: Follow the instructions provided by the blogging platform to set up your blog. This may include choosing a theme, customizing the design, and writing your first post.
- Promote your blog: Once it is set up, it’s important to promote it to attract readers. You can share your blog posts on social media, participate in online communities related to your niche, and engage with your readers through comments and email.
Once your blog receives traffic, it is time to make some money.
There are many ways to monetize a blog, including advertising, sponsored content, and selling products or services.
A typical blogger in India earns around $300 – $400 a month.
As your blog grows, you can explore these options to generate income.
Related: 10 Easy Ways to Make Money Blogging in India
7. Create an app
If you have an idea for a great app, you could build and sell it on the app store.
But do you realize that over 2.7 million apps are on the Google Play Store alone?
This poses a challenge because the market is saturated. Just another app idea won’t cut it.
Developing and monetizing an app can be a challenging but rewarding process.
Here are some steps you can take as a student to create and make money with an app in India:
- Identify a problem or need in the market that your app can solve or meet. It’s important to choose an idea that you are passionate about and that has the potential to be profitable.
- Research the competition and determine how your app will be unique and stand out in the market.
- Create a plan and budget for your app development, including any necessary resources or tools.
- Consider partnering with a developer or a development platform to build your app. Some popular tools for building mobile apps include:
Xcode (for iOS app development)
Android Studio (for Android app development)
Appcelerator (for cross-platform app development)
Flutter (for cross-platform app development)
- Test and refine your app to ensure that it is user-friendly and meets the needs of your target audience.
- Launch your app and start promoting it to attract users. You can use social media, paid advertising, and other marketing tactics to increase awareness of your app.
To make money, consider offering in-app purchases or subscriptions to monetize your app.
You can also use advertising to generate revenue by displaying ads in your app or allowing companies to sponsor your app.
8. Offer online tutoring services in India
You are a student already, which means you’re an expert in a particular subject.
You could offer tutoring services online. On average, an online tutor makes ₹ 150 per hour.
That’s like ₹ 375,000 per year, making this one of the best online business ideas for students in India
Here are some steps you can take to offer online tutoring and make money:
- Identify your areas of expertise and determine what subjects or skills you would like to tutor. It’s important to choose subjects that you are knowledgeable and passionate about, as well as those in which there is a demand for tutoring.
- Research the market and determine your target audience. Consider the age, level, and needs of the students you would like to tutor and the competitive landscape.
- Create a plan and budget for your tutoring business, including any resources or tools you will need.
- Consider using a platform or service to connect with students and manage your tutoring sessions. Some popular options for offering online tutoring include:
Zoom (for video conferencing and screen sharing)
Google Meet (for video conferencing and screen sharing)
Skype (for video conferencing and screen sharing)
Tutor.com (for connecting with students and managing tutoring sessions)
- Promote your tutoring services to attract students. You can use social media, paid advertising, and other marketing tactics to increase awareness of your tutoring business.
- Set your rates and policies for tutoring sessions, including any cancellation or rescheduling fees.
- Consider offering additional services or resources, such as study guides or homework help, to add value for your students and generate additional income.
9. Sell online courses
According to a piece that appeared on Indiatinmes.com, In 2021-22, a total of 20. 3 lakh students from India opted for ODL against 14. 6 lakh in 2020-21.
In online mode, the total number of students, including foreign students, grew from 25,905 to 70,023 in the same period.
What does this tell you?
There’s demand and market for online courses!
If you’re knowledgeable about a particular topic, you could create an online course and sell it to other students.
Here are some steps you can follow to get started:
- Choose a topic: First, consider what you know a lot about and are passionate about. This will make it easier for you to create and promote your course.
- Create your course: Once you have a topic, you can start creating your course. You can take a few different approaches, including creating video lectures, slides, and audio recordings. You can also include interactive elements like quizzes, surveys, and assignments to help engage your students.
- Find a platform to host your course: Many platforms allow you to create and sell online courses. Some popular options include Udemy, Teachable, and Thinkific. These platforms offer tools and resources to help you create, host, and sell your course.
- Promote your course: Once you have created and hosted it, it’s important to promote it to reach potential students. You can do this in many ways, including using social media, email marketing, and content marketing. You can also consider offering a limited-time discount or bundle deal to encourage people to enroll in your course.
Time to make money!
There are several ways you can make money from your online course in India, including charging a one-time fee or offering a subscription.
You can also consider offering additional resources or coaching to students for an additional fee.
As we mentioned earlier, there are millions and millions of Indians shopping online right now.
And if you don’t have enough capital to purchase full inventory, this is a great way to make money by selling items in India without having to store them yourself.
Starting dropshipping in India isn’t that complicated:
- Choose a niche: Choose a specific product niche to focus on, as this will help you differentiate your store and make it easier to market to a specific audience. Consider what products you’re passionate about or have experience with, and do market research to ensure there is demand for those products.
- Find a supplier: Once you have a niche in mind, find a supplier who can provide the products you want to sell. Many websites and directories can help you find dropshipping suppliers, such as AliExpress, SaleHoo, and Worldwide Brands. Carefully vet any suppliers you’re considering working with to ensure they are reliable and offer good quality products.
- Set up your store: Next, set up your online store. You can use many platforms, including OLITT, Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce. These platforms provide tools and resources to help you create and manage your store, including customizable templates, payment processing, and shipping integration.
- Add products and set prices: Once your store is set up, start adding and setting prices. Get the product descriptions and images from your supplier, and decide how much to markup the products to make a profit. Remember that you’ll also need to consider the shipping cost and additional fees when setting your prices.
- Promote your store: Finally, promote your store to reach potential customers. You can do this in many ways, including using social media, running ads, and optimizing your store for search engines. You can also consider offering promotions or discounts to encourage people to purchase.
11. Offer virtual assistant services
If you’re organized and have great communication skills, you could offer virtual assistant services to companies.
On Upwork, the median hourly rate for Virtual Assistants is $13, making it one of the best online business ideas for students in India.
If you want in, here are some steps you can follow:
- Determine your services: First, consider what skills you could offer as a virtual assistant. This might include administrative tasks like scheduling, data entry, email management, or more specialized skills like social media marketing or graphic design. Make a list of the services you can offer, and consider creating a service package or menu to make it easy for potential clients to understand what you offer.
- Create a website: A website can help you establish your brand and make it easier for potential clients to learn about your services and contact you. You can create a simple website using a website builder like OLITT or Squarespace or hire a web developer to create a more custom site. Be sure to include information about your services, your experience and qualifications, and your rates.
- Build your network: Networking is important in building your virtual assistance business. Consider joining online groups or forums related to your services or attending local networking events. You can also reach out to potential clients directly through LinkedIn or email.
- Set your rates: Determine how much you want to charge for your services. You can research the rates for virtual assistance in your area or industry to get an idea of what to charge. Remember that you’ll need to factor in your time, experience, and any expenses you incur while working.
- Promote your services: Once you have your website and services set up, it’s important to promote your business to reach potential clients. You can use social media, email, and content marketing to share your services with a wider audience. You can also consider contacting businesses or individuals needing your services directly.
Starting an online business is a great way for students to make extra money in India.
It’s low-cost, flexible, and has the potential for great growth.
Whether you are looking to supplement your income or make a full-time career, starting an online business is a smart and rewarding choice.
Related: How To Start An Online Business In India With No Money